Friday, April 29, 2011

Recipe Hide & Seek

I can tell I've grown up a little bit. Just a little. In college, I would spend my spare time on Facebook. Now, I spend time on food websites searching for a great recipe. Just like Facebook, I'll get lost looking for a recipe and realize I've been clicking for 30 minutes. My mind thinks it's a game of hide & seek and I have to find the perfect recipe. I did stumble upon this recipe for Baked Penne with Spinach and made it recently. We loved it! I love when leftovers taste better than the first night you made the dish.

E: 8
A: 7 (Kroger trip for sun-dried tomatoes and the whole tomatoes)
T: 7 (making it and then baking it is time-consuming, yet worth it)
HH: 9

What are some good food websites or blogs you find inspiration from? Which seem really hard to navigate?

Here's some of my favorites:
Betty Crocker (the iPhone app is handy when searching for a recipe with 1 particular ingredient)
Homesick Texan (I can totally identify)
For The Love of Cooking (love the simplicity)

This image has nothing to do with pasta or food blogs, but I thought it was too darn cute to not post. Feel free to share your own favorites or frustrations related to food blogs. We'd love to hear from you!

Monday, April 25, 2011


I know, odd title, but I'm really bad at coming up with names.  I was trying to come up with something that used the first letter of the ingredients, but this is what it turned into... just go with it.  (Which makes me think of this movie - it was really cute, if you haven't seen it you should... ok, back to food.)

This was a quick dish using ingredients we had in the pantry/fridge.   It was one of those days I hadn't planned anything and I got home from work about the time Justin was waking up, so only had as much time as it took him to get ready for work.  I thought it was pretty good for just "throwing something together."

  • chicken broth (about a 1/4 cup)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • sour cream (about a cup)
  • 1 small can of chopped mushrooms (drained)
  • 1 can of spinach (drained)
  • sun dried tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 lb ground turkey meat
  • whole wheat pasta

Here's what I did:

I poured some chicken broth into a pan and then added the can of cream of mushroom soup and sour cream.

Next I added the can of spinach (drained) and the ground turkey meat.

Earlier in the week I browned turkey meat, separated into 1 pound portions, put it in a labeled zip lock bag, and froze it.  Having part of the meal "pre-prepared" helps speed the cooking process.

My labeled bag the turkey was frozen in.

While I was working on the sauce, I started the pasta cooking:

Next, I added the sun-dried tomatoes and can of mushrooms (drained).  I think the sun-dried tomatoes added a nice flavor to the dish.  Then I just let it simmer for a few minutes:

It tastes better than it looks, I promise.

Here's how it looked on my plate:

Goat Cheese makes everything better - so we added some on top.

Rating Scale:

E:  9
A: 10 (I didn't plan ahead at all.)
T:  9

HH:  8 - He told me he liked as much (maybe more) than this post.  I like the curry better.

I'm linking to:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Martha's Salad

Let me introduce you to Mrs. Martha, Eliott's mother. She's the best mother-in-law any girl could ask for. When we make family visits to Philadelphia, I love to watch her work her magic in the kitchen. She shared this salad with us recently and I think we've made it 4 times in the last month. Enjoy!

I stopped by Kroger after work and picked up these ingredients:
1 bag of Romaine lettuce
1 head of lettuce
1 bag of dried cranberries and honey roasted pecans
1 can of mandarin oranges
1 bottle of Brianna's salad dressing - Blush Wine Vinaigrette

You can't go wrong with this salad. I added the head of lettuce to the bag of Romaine. Also, just add the dressing to your serving of salad because it wilts the salad super fast. Let Foodie Freddie's know if you try this salad. If your week was super crazy like mine, you'll be grateful for fast side dishes like this one. Happy Easter!

E: 10
A: 2 (trip to Kroger with the rest of my community was necessary)
T: 10 (salad was ready in no time)
HH: 9

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Feta Sun-Dried Tomato Turkey Burger Sliders - Take 2

Remember the delicious looking sliders Freddie made in this post?  Well, as we said from the beginning the purpose of this blog is to help each other figure out what to make for dinner.  So, when I saw these sliders, I knew I wanted to make them.  Here is the recipe again.  They were very good.  The only thing I'd do differently is add a little more salt or some other spice to the meat before I cook it.  If you haven't noticed, I can't just go straight by a recipe, I have to tweak something to make it "mine."  In this dish it was a minor tweak, but I highly recommend it.  The recipe has you make your own sun-dried tomato mayonnaise with 1 cup of mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons of sun-dried tomatoes.  Instead of mayo (in the name of being more healthy, just because I love it, and that's what I had)  I used plain non-fat Greek yogurt.  If you don't like Greek yogurt, then you probably won't like this, but we love it, so we thought it added an awesome twist to this dish.  I also chopped the sun-dried tomatoes in my mini food chopper to make them blend better.  Here's what the sliders looked like on my plate:

 Let us know if you try this and how you put your twist on it!

E:  7
A:  8
T:  7

HH: 7

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Date Night Pizza

Justin and I made this the first time we cooked together:

Date Night Pizza

It was delicious.  The wonderful thing about making pizza yourself is you just put your favorite things on top, so you end up with a dish that you love.  

There's no recipe for this, we just made it up as we went. Here's how we did it, but you can make any adjustments you like. 

First we rolled out thin crust pizza dough (you can find it with the biscuits at the grocery store).  Then, we spread alfredo sauce over the dough.  Next, we covered it with mozzarella cheese.  

Now to the fun part.  (It's important that you cook all your toppings that can't be eaten raw before you put them on your pizza.)  We sauteed chicken and mushrooms, then sprinkled them on top.  Next, we cut up artichokes and black olives and added them to the pizza. 

(I LOVE black olives... when we were little my sister and I would get cans of black olives in our Christmas stockings from our grandparents... it was always our favorite thing in the stocking.)  

Then, we topped it with feta cheese (yum!).  Next, we put it in the oven and baked it according to the pizza dough package directions.  Finally, we ate!

We've made this again a few time and put different things on it.  We've used goat cheese - I loved this, I think it was better than the feta.  We've also added sauteed spinach, which added some nice color (you know I love green) and flavor to the dish.  You can really do whatever you think tastes great together.  I think I'd like to try sauteed veggies like squash and zucchini sometime... I'll let you know if I try it.

Here are my ratings:
A:9 (You can use whatever you have and make it differently every time.)

HH: 10 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Twice Cooked Turkey Meatloaf

Eliott and I went to Texas to visit the folks and fill up on home-cookin'. My Dad made a meatloaf and it reminded me of my childhood when I would smother the loaf of meat with ketchup. Not much has changed.

Let me tell you about my Dad. He's the best. His new hobby is smoking (the cooking technique) any kind of meat you can find. Chicken, pork, steak, you name it, he'll put it in the smoker. I think the smoker is the male version of a Crock-Pot. It's definitely more masculine to hang out around the smoker, play with the dogs, cut the grass, wash the car, open the door to the smoker, and produce dinner.

My Dad's meatloaf was the inspiration for today's menu. We have never cooked meatloaf since we got married. Eliott found a recipe when watching 5 Ingredient Fix on The Food Network for Twice Cooked Turkey Meatloaf. Both of us are huge fans of sun-dried tomatoes, so this recipe sounded delicious.

Here's the recipe: Twice Cooked Turkey Meatloaf

E: 8

A: 7- who has fresh sage in their kitchen?

T: 5- baking anything for longer than 30 minutes when you're hungry is torture

HH: 8- he volunteered to eat it for leftovers, enough said

Friday, April 1, 2011

Feta Sun-Dried Tomato Turkey Burger Sliders

I mentioned in my last post about our obsession with sun-dried tomatoes. We cooked 3 meals in the last week that included sun-dried tomatoes. Point proven. We found this recipe to use the rest of the sun-dried tomatoes and we will definitely be making them soon. Aren't sliders just the cutest things?

Yes, the plate is almost falling off the kitchen counter. Eliott was salivating because I requested we take a picture of them before we started devouring them. I'm not a huge feta fan, but this was divine. The warm feta with the tangy tomatoes in the tiny turkey patty was perfect. The recipe included how to make a mayonnaise to go along with the sliders. I highly recommend it. We toasted the sliders in the oven for just a little while which led to Eliott's favorite question of the night, "Do you want your buns toasted, honey?"

E: 8

A: 8- had to buy the spinach and slider buns

T: 8

HH: 9- Eliott loved these!